Alright kiddos, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The much-anticipated sequel to The Final Deletion aired Thursday night, and as promised it’s even more bananapants crazy than the first one.
The good news is you need very little Impact Wrestling background to dive into the mysterious and extravagant world of Broken Matt Hardy. Everything you need to know about The Final Deletion can be found here, so make sure you’ve caught up on that first.
For those of you drawn into the Zone of Impact by the Hardy’s “Backyardigans but for people who do a sh*t-ton of drugs” cinematic events, you may require a little bit more about the invading forces. We gave a bit of a rundown in our preview, but here’s basically what you need to know about The Decay.
The stable is a weird facepaint sex cult helmed by a girl who has a convoluted history featuring an evil mother, a traumatic head injury that made her hear sh*t, and jilted love because of course she does. The Decay has gone through a number of growing pains, marked by tired tropes straight out of an intensely sporkable fanfiction collection that will one day be the embarrassing hallmark of a mall goth’s adolescence. Equally delightfully and cringe-worthy, the relationship between the clown who abandoned a failing carnival, a misunderstood Mary Sue with too much time on her hands, and all of the wonderful, leather-clad personality facets of Abyss is still fully functional enough to orchestrate an attack on the fabled Hardy Compound.
DELETE or DECAY takes the forced camp of The Final Deletion and turns it up to 11. On the one hand, it’s easy to see how so many people have responded so favorably, because there’s nothing the average wrestling fan loves more than being able to feel like they’re in on the joke. Nobody wants to hear comparisons of lighting techniques when The Decay creeps through the woods to Roger Deakins’ breathtaking train robbery scene in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, or any actual critical analysis of something that’s clearly not meant to be taken seriously. Much like the first, there are two ways to approach it: you can either pick it apart as the very reason pro wrestlers shouldn’t be given creative control over anything like, ever, or you can embrace the madness, put on your DILAPIDATED BOAT foam finger, and go along for the ride.
If you have no inclination to get on top of what Impact Wrestling is throwing down, now is the time to bail. If you’re all in, however, sit back, relax, and relive all the very best parts of The Final Deletion, Twice In A Lifetime.
Broken Matt Hardy’s Personal Zoo
Matt Hardy’s personal zoo is filled with animals who act as vessels for the “the most brilliant, amazing, resplendent souls” of historical figures. Jeff Hardy trains for battle by fighting a kangaroo that’s actually Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Ghengis Khan is a prescient tiger. George Washington is a giraffe who steals Reby’s hat, just like the real George Washington.
This is great because a) everything I just described, but also b) the Hardys’ love of giraffes is completely canonical. Matt also has a cage full of “spot monkeys” he’s named for X-Division wrestlers, including one named Matt-and-Nick, the Bucks of Youth. Sure it’s a fun “in-joke,” but there’s something legitimately wonderful about Jeff Hardy saying “I suffer with you” to an actual monkey.
In The Pines
The Decay hijack a pick-up truck by taking advantage of a dude probably named Buck who definitely likes to f*ck. Massive shout out to whoever made the decision to use “In The Pines” by the Louvin Brothers to score this scene:
My girl, my girl, where will you go
I’m going where the cold wind blows
In the pines, in the pines
Where the sun don’t ever shine
I would shiver the whole night through
Her husband, was a hard working man
Just about a mile from here
His head was found in a driving wheel
But his body never was found
The highly underrated country duo may be best known these days for the #Broken battlefield-worthy 1959 album cover for Satan Is Real that consistently pops up on all of those “weirdest album overs of all time” listicles:
I mean, I just … *kisses fingers*
Señor Benjamin Gives Zero F*cks
I love the idea that anyone who lives with The Hardys is so accustomed to weirdass bullsh*t that he has the swingin’ cojones to tell three creepy home invaders that he’s digging their graves. Give ’em hell, señor.
If you still need a little help getting into the spirit of things at this point in the video, perhaps try taking a different tack. Pretend Abyss and Crazzy Steve are really just looking for design ideas, and Reby’s California Closet holds the secret to truly maximizing your living space.
There was a FIREFIIIIIIIIGHT
The Final Deletion had the pretense of an actual wrestling match when it headlined the show. This time, that structure goes out the window for the main event as “the battle” is primarily a series of callbacks and metric buttload of fireworks. Jeff Hardy is finally on the right side of the Roman Candle as the Hardy family chases The Decay to the infamous Dilapidated Boat. Look, if we didn’t get any Extraordinary Xylophones, at least we got that, right? While running around shooting fireworks at stuff seems like fun, what happens next is a million times better.
The Lake of Transformation
If you’ll recall, Jeff went into Lake Hardy as himself, and then emerged as Willow, his alter ego (so I guess also technically himself, ssshhh). The Decay hid under the Dilapidated Boat, but then Abyss used it as cover so that he could draw fire and allow the other two members to escape. As he’s doing this, Jeff Hardy dropkicks the boat and Abyss goes flying into the lake. AND THEN THIS HAPPENED:
For those of you who may not know, I am the President and COO of the Official Joseph Park fanclub. I have written thousands of words (and will continue to do so) about this brilliant character because he’s the best one and owns the biggest part of my heart as he can. I don’t know what the hell is happening in that lake, but if Raquel goes in and Becky Bayless comes out I will forgive Impact Wrestling for nearly everything wrong it’s ever done.
Here’s Crazzy Steve Choking Jeff Hardy With An Inflatable Pool Toy
No wasted movement in the ring, no wasted props when fighting in your brother’s luxurious backyard pool.
Holding Out For A Hero, And That Hero Is Vanguard 1
Vanguard 1 is s sentient drone who can drive a car and launch rockets at the Hardys’ enemies. It telling Maxel to run is an amazing moment in time, but even greater is the fact that Rosemary trying to kill it is the only time she’s a believable, truly despicable heel. By now all Monster’s Balls (heh) have lost their meaning, but if we don’t get Maxel vs. Rosemary in the name of Vanguard 1 at Bound For Glory then what the f*ck is even the point of these videos.
Matt Hardy’s Mist Counter
Drink it in, Maaaaatttttt
So here we are. The Decay is on the run, Jeff Hardy is reeling from a bunch of nails to the stomach, Maxel is safe and sound, but … but wait. Oh no. Oh no no no … The Decay drove off with Señor Benjamin unconscious in the bed of their stolen pickup:
You can mess with The Hardys. You can try to kidnap their baby. You can even knock over Reby’s decorative candles. But this … this is going too far.